Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia During the Opening of the 37th Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) of 2022 at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE) BSD City, Tangerang Regency, Banten Province, October 19, 2022
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Greetings of Virtue,
Distinguished all Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors in attendance,
Distinguished all Governors in attendance,
All participants of the 37th Trade Expo Indonesia,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We should be grateful that Indonesia’s economy in the second quarter recorded a positive growth amid crises, global recession. Indeed, we should be grateful for it. We are regarded among the best performing countries in the G20 economies and other countries.
On inflation, Indonesia’s inflation rate was maintained at 4.6 percent in August. In the second quarter, [the rate] was at 4.9 percent. Due to fuel price hike, inflation rose slightly by 5.9 percent. But we can still control it. You can compare our inflation rate and [economic] growth with that of other countries.
Moreover, with support from all of you, our trade balance recorded a surplus for 29 months. As Minister of Trade Zulkifi Hasan noted earlier, from January until September, the surplus reached US$39.8 billion. It is not a slight amount. I’d like to thank all of you.
To that end, we have to stay optimistic even when other international institutions have estimated that this year’s situation is hard and next year will be worse. Let it be. Our country must stay optimistic. We have to be prudent, cautious, considering that the challenges are hard to calculate, hard to estimate. It is unpredictable as to how far will it affect us.
Last week, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) told me that Indonesia is a bright spot in the midst of the gloom of the global economy. Those are not my words. It was Managing Director Kristalina who told me that. Once again, a bright spot in the midst of the gloom of the world economy. It’s good that many people say such things. That way, the global society places a great trust in us. Once again, we have to be cautious.
Three days ago, I called Kristalina. She told me that there are 16 countries that are now becoming “patients” of the IMF. As many as 28 countries are waiting for their turn. Imagine that. Once again, let me say that we should be grateful, given that our economic growth was still maintained at 5.44 percent.
I still believe that in the third quarter our economy can grow above 5 percent or above 5.4 percent. Based on the figures we have observed, our trade balance last month recorded a surplus of 5.7 percent; credit grew 10.7 percent; and consumer confidence index stood at 124.7 percent. Each indicator is still in favorable condition. But then again, the key lies in hard work amid difficult situation like this.
Like I said earlier, we can not only focus on macro things anymore. We cannot do that. Our concern on micro things is still not enough. We have to be more detail-oriented. Learn it [the problem] thoroughly and solve it. That is our current work ethic. We can not only focus on macro things. The problem will not be solved. One said, “Mr. President, I have done all my works.” That is not enough. We have to stay focused more on things in more details.
In other countries, to control inflation, the central banks have increased interest rate. In Indonesia, we do not only do that, but the source of inflation in the market must be solved. How can we do that? One month ago, I ordered governors, regents, and mayors to also optimize the Regional Budget, including transportation cost from producers to the market, from producers to consumers. All sectors, including monetary authority, fiscal authority, as well as regional governments, must join forces.
All of you can ask Governors, Regents, and Mayors on what did they do to control inflation. I did one-for-one checking and announced it, “The inflation rate of this province still maintained at 8 percent; another province was at 7 percent; another province reached 3 percent, 4 percent.” I opened it [the data] because this kind of work ethics must be carried out nowadays.
Furthermore, I’d like to congratulate to the 37th Trade Expo Indonesia. It is our hope that target set by Minister of Trade, more than US$10 billion of surplus can be reached. It is also expected that it can boost our trade balance in the future.
By saying bismillahirahmanirahim, I hereby inaugurate the 37th Trade Expo Indonesia of 2022.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (AP/EP)